Let's discuss Bitcoin.
I got into the market like a month ago and I'm sure I'm not the only marshallite who's fascinated by this new tech?
Bought my first 2.19 bitcoins a few days ago. Used it to purchase some books. Far as currency goes... it's really weird to wrap your head around. Like, instead of thinking of "money," you're thinking this is a proxy.
I was fascinated with bitcoin back when it was 11$ around November 2012. It was cooling down during the winter and I read some theory article on how heat from computers was equivalent to heat from a space heater as both just use voltage to heat up metal which produces heat. At least the computer does something on the way though.
I looked at the list of things I could do with this side-effect computing power and in the list of distribued projects I found one called 'bitcoin' - make money running things from your computer! Yes! Now I can possibly heat my room AND make money (or nullify the cost of heating) all at once yayayaya!
I bought a small non-working computer on craigslist - fixed it up - bought a restored video card - and turned that rig into a bitcoin miner/space heater. Admittedly it did warm the room up but not by much (I moved back to my radiant heater months later). Also in the bay area tier 3 energy use is .40 cents a kw/hour so from using the bitcoin calculator at 11$/hour with a 9800GT graphics card it would take about 600$ of electricity to make 11$ of bitcoins. Not very economical.
Enthralled by the concept of a "free from control" grassroots currency though I delved into it further thinking of investing. Back then there were no real easy ways to turn bitcoins into cash without meeting in public which sucked. Also there was not much you could buy with bitcoins which sucked unless you made private transactions or dealt with stores like this "goods from Russia" store which would ship you random stuff. Silk road was the only real use and that was all drugs and I'm not much into drugs. Hence I thought bitcoin was just a black market of sorts without any liquidity used by drug addicts so I blew it off.
Months later it climbed to 20-30-40 then the Cyprus banking incident turned it into a bubble. In retrospect maybe I wish I had bet a meager 100$ just because it was not much to lose but I had everything to gain. I don't really think about it too much though because the real hardcore bitcoiners used it back when it was 3-6$ a coin and they are probably now kicking themselves for smoking away their fortunes.
I still think bitcoin is a tad overvalued and it's real price should be around 28$ which matches the 14$ value of bitcoin before the halving of the blockchain generation (which doubles the price eventually kind of like a reverse 1:2 stock split). I really don't know what happened with bitcoin that made it jump but I see now there are ways to withdraw bitcoin-->real US dollar so that may have played a huge role.
I still don't trust bitcoin either as it reminds me of the stock market before regulation. Sure we have a currency free from manipulation from the shadow but what has resulted may be as bad or even worse. As I said in an earlier bitcoin response at least the common man now has the chance to pump and dump just like the illuminati! :P.
Been, been fascinated. Especially by those guys buying up top end graphic cards in computer rigs that double as space heaters to accumulate that digital nectar.
Graphics card mining is long over - they have moved to ASIC's which I think are integrated circuits which ONLY do bitcoin mining. They are basically custom made circuit chips that sit on a rack somewhere and bitcoin. They have a magnitude of calculation power 100's of times over the latest graphics cards while using only 7-10 watts of energy.
Unfortunately this finding has removed bitcoin from the 'common man' and has placed our fate in a series of supercomputing ASICnets which control the economy. Take over 51% of those and you can start your own fraud chain and possibly take over the internets!
I watched it skyrocket from $86 to $266, back down to around $80 where it is this moment, over the course of the last month. I still only have a basic comprehension of how it works, but goddamn, watching the spectacle has been riveting.